We Are Waiting For The Wolves

by Sophie Mackintosh

What will you do when they drag me away? You say we will go together to the park and dig a shallow grave and atone for everything we ever did by breathing soil deep into our lungs, and the wolves will leave. But they were weeping as I walked past the park earlier, so it is no longer safe. You take my hands and tell me instead we will go to the highest floor of the car-park behind the train station and they will throw themselves right over us and I tell you no, you have to understand, they will take us with them, all the while thinking of their bunchy wool-collar-itch hair and how the skin underneath is such a surprise to the touch and how you have not yet fixed the lightbulb, how it stammers in its socket as you speak.

Eventually you look to the ground, tell me instead we will go into the garden and offer ourselves up in our Sunday best, the glut of last week's rains coming up through the grass, and we will wait. And the wolves will take pity on our knee-stains and our palms split where we washed them too many times in the raw winter water, and they will smell the blood and soap of us and they will no longer be angry as they see us kneeling there, waiting for their judgement -